Vitamin K has three different vitamins associated with it. Vitamin K1 is phylloquinone, vitamin K2 is menaquinone and vitamin K3 is menadione. Two of K vitamins (K1 and K2) are needed for the blood-clotting process in the body. Vitamin K1 is made by plants – leafy green vegetables primarily. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented soybeans, organ meat, and hard cheeses. Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form of vitamin K used outside the United States. Vitamin K1 is converted into vitamin K2 in your intestines and peripheral tissues. Vitamin K2 is also found in supplements. Most people are deficient in vitamin K2. It is not commonly found in multi-vitamins.
Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in heart and bone protection. The calcium from your diet is combined with magnesium in your stomach. When leaving the stomach, calcium is absorbed into the bloodstream if you have adequate amounts of vitamin D3. If you have adequate amounts of vitamin K2, the calcium is deposited in your bones. If not, the calcium is deposited into your heart valves and arteries. Vitamin K2 is a powerful molecule protecting your heart. Vitamin K2 is not recommended with some prescription blood thinners. Talk to your physician about which blood thinners can work with vitamin K2 supplements. Supplemental vitamin K2 is used to increase vitamin K2 levels in your body.